On the occasion of Daniel Day Lewis's birth
This mannikin who just now
Broke prison and stepped free
Into his own identity--
Hand, foot, and brow
A finished work, a breathing miniature--
Was still, one night ago,
A hope, a dread, a mere shape we
Had lived with, only sure
Something would grow
Out of its coiled nine-month nonentity.
This morsel of man I've held--
What potency it has,
Though strengthless still and naked as
A nut unshelled!
We time-worn folk renew
Ourselves at your enchanted spring,
As though mankind's begun
Again in you.
This is your birthday and our thanksgiving.
- From Pegasus and Other Poems by C. Day Lewis